CLEARFIELD — Having more compressed natural gas stations along the Interstate 15 corridor allows everyone to breathe a little easier.
It also allows those who drive natural gas-fueled vehicles to travel a little farther.
A new compressed natural gas (CNG) station opened Monday in Clearfield, adding to what is already the largest per capita CNG fueling infrastructure in the nation, said Gordon Larsen, spokesman with Questar.
The station, located at JP’s Chevron at 1350 E. 700 South, Clearfield, brings the number of public compressed natural gas stations in Utah to 32, Larsen said.
The number of natural gas stations along the I-15 corridor allows those who own the vehicles to drive from the top of the state to the bottom of the state and find a place to refuel. There are roughly 13,000 registered natural gas-fueled vehicles in Utah, Larsen said.
But what made Monday’s opening a little more special is that the construction of the station embodies a public/private partnership, said Irene Rizza, with Utah Clean Cities.
CNG America built the station with funding assistance from Utah Clean Cities Coalition’s $14.9 million American Recovery & Reinvestment Act grant and the state’s Clean Fuel Vehicle grant and loan program.
The station is owned by John Petroff Jr., who serves as a Davis County commissioner.
Petroff said he has owned the station since 1980 and has been selling natural gas there from one dispenser with two hoses for at least 15 years.
“It was a situation where people were lined up all day long (to refuel),” he said, “partly because the compressor couldn’t keep up and because we only had two hoses.
“Now we can fill six vehicles,” Petroff said of now having three dispensers with two hoses on each. The additional pressure will also allow customers to fill more quickly.
“To me it was obvious that it was the fuel of the future,” Petroff said.
But stations needed the infrastructure to provide the fuel to customers, he said.
“We don’t need a million of these stations, but we need to have them strategically located so people can move around,” Petroff said.
Larsen said natural gas-fueled vehicles reduce emissions anywhere from 30 percent to 90 percent depending on the vehicle and how the vehicle is used.
Drivers can also save on costs, as natural gas sells for $1.49 per gallon.
Questar, CNG, Celtic Bank and JP’s Chevron are to be commended for working together to make the latest compressed natural gas station a reality, Utah Division of Air Quality spokeswomen Lisa Burr said.
It is through such partnerships that the state will be able to educate the population on the importance of natural gas, in turn improving the state’s air quality, Burr said.
Questar officials anticipate the Clearfield station will receive heavy use due to its proximity to the freeway and the nearby heavily traveled east-west state Road 193 serving a high volume of Hill Air Force Base traffic.